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Car Audio

After several years of theatrical sound, it became second nature to try to fix bad-quality audio. Like a cook making himself dinner, it’s hard to deal with bad quality if you know how to fix it. Most cars come with a mediocre audio system with just enough power for casual listening. Bass is always absent…

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Thermoforming Plastic

Pretty much all plastics are formed by first heating plastic pellets and extruding or injecting the hot mess into the desired shape. What most plastics do not share are the heating characteristics required to work with the plastic in a soft or molten state. For example acrylic sheets absorb water and must be oven-dried first.…

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Toolbox Stereo

There are a lot of portable stereos for sale, my favorite of these being from Monoprice. But sometimes you just need more power, more bass, more battery life. One option is the popular suitcase stereo. With some car speakers, an amplifier, and some batteries, a hard suitcase is transformed into a decent stereo on a…

Quick Projects

Introducing my new series: Quick Projects. While there is nothing quite like finishing a long and complicate project, small projects are nice to keep you interested and working when stalled on a month-long project. Both small monetarily and in labor, quick projects are low-risk ideas that don’t require tying up long weekends and paychecks to…

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LED Sequins: An Experience

E-textiles are a subset of wearable electronics that mixes electronics and clothing at the fabric level. Using conductive material like silver-coated nylon and stainless steel thread, signal pathways can be sewn into the fabric of clothing and accessories. This creates a seamless integration without the need for uncomfortable wires running through a garment. With my…

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Laptop Battery on Steroids

Back in 2008, I received a laptop as a Christmas gift from my parents. The laptop was a godsend to a teen that had to compete with his brothers for the family computer. Unfortunately, the laptop suffered from one main drawback: the battery. Unlike my netbook I use for college, this laptop would last maybe…

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Wearables Part III: The Accents

Theatrical lighting has been a part of my life for a long time. From that experience I gained an innate desire to experiment with lighting, no matter the subject. Accent lighting linked to emotion, both in the home or on stage. Color and direction are manipulated to create feelings of happiness or sadness, love or…

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Wearables Part II: The Shoes

The Technology Economies of scale is sometimes a strange force to meet in hobbyist projects. My second foray into illuminated formalwear was one such project. My girlfriend saw a pair of heels online that had a few LEDs affixed around the sole. Seeing room for improvement, I offered to make a better version for roughly…

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Wearable Part I: A Prom Dress

It is clear a definite shift in the world of fashion is in motion. Electronics, and more specifically computers, have become so small and approachable that designers can integrate elements of digital technology into clothing and accessories. This new level of intimacy with technology, a cyborg-like augmentation of one’s life is truly fascinating. This led…

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1200 Lumens of Biking Power

In the summer of 2011, I took a liking to biking at night. The lack of traffic and generally cooler weather was more agreeable to me than mid-day or morning rides. Unfortunately, my town was not very well suited for cyclists at any time of the day. So when I found high power LEDs and…